In 1236 there were 14 choristers, this being the statutory number, who entered the choir between the ages of seven and 12 and stayed until their voices broke. Thus we have a history of singing boys going back over 800 years.
The choir has sung the liturgical services of the church almost without interruption since at least the thirteenth century. Several famous church musicians have been closely associated with the Cathedral's music, including Matthew Locke (chorister in the 17th century) and S. S. Wesley, England's foremost Cathedral organist of the 19th century.
The girls' choir was formed in 1993. The boys and girls generally alternate singing with the men of the cathedral and do not usually sing together.